Watching sports with Ted is extremely frustrating. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls shake. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting roar of the crowd.
It isn’t in any way pleasant. But the volume seems fine for Ted. Everything has to be at max volume for him to be able to hear it, making it pretty apparent that it’s time to think about hearing aids. You’re just not sure how to tell him that. It should be a simple discussion, but he seems excessively sensitive about the topic.
The following are a few recommendations that could help.
Recommend a Simple Exam
Ted has to learn more about his hearing from a specialist. He may not believe other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the strategy will be convincing Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies may help you do that:
- Try making him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. Ted will get his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. We can clarify what the results mean.
- Offer to get a screening too. This can make beginning the dialogue easier. It’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, also (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud sound).
Chat About Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it advances so gradually. When this happens, you might acquire certain behaviors without recognizing it. By concentrating your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or someone like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Make him aware that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Point out instances where you need to translate what somebody said. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or understand it, and you have to repeat the sentence to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Letting him know that his family has observed him straining to hear. Perhaps that’s why fewer individuals are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a hard time coping with the loud television.
When you have these talks focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the goal. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, mention how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Emphasize The Technology in Contemporary Hearing Aids
In some instances, reticence to wearing hearing aids comes from antiquated (but understandable) impressions of what hearing aids do and how they influence one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by contemporary hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids contain a considerable amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair easily with your phone or even your TV speakers. With this tech, the volume of your devices will be increased without feedback and noise.
- Usually, modern hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units of the past. Most individuals will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
- Some hearing aids have additional features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
For many individuals, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are extremely helpful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to point out the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is critical to a person’s cognitive health.
You will keep more of your hearing intact in the long run if you treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a difficult time processing particular wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. Simply turning your television volume up isn’t a substitute for this valuable technology.
Recognizing that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first notice signs of hearing loss will help people like Ted feel comfortable seeking the help they need.